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Filed: Tuesday, 30th April 2019
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's Academy suffered a major blow last night when the Under 23s were relegated from Division 1 of PL2 - despite beating league champions Everton in their final game of the season.

The club's once highly-regarded Academy will be playing in the competition's second tier next season after Liam Manning's squad ended the campaign one place from the bottom of the table.

That is despite goals from Grady Diangana and Ben Johnson securing three points against Everton, who had already secured the PL2 title.

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West Ham needed to win and for Tottenham to fail to beat Derby County in order to avoid relegation to the second tier of PL2.

However a Jack Roles hat-trick helped Spurs to a 3-1 win over the Midlanders at Stevenage, which was enough to condemn the Hammers to the drop.

"It was a good performance and a good result, but unfortunately itís not enough," said current manager Steve Potts.

"Deep down, it wasnít about tonightís game, it was other games throughout the season that put us in this position to try and scrape our way out of it, relying on other results tonight. Thatís the main reason."

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West Ham ended the 22-game season with 26 points - just one point below Leicester City who live to fight another day. Last year's Division 2 winners Swansea go down with West Ham, having finished bottom of the table with just 16 points.

The final league table may be seen here.

West Ham's place in Division 1 will be taken by Wolves, who pipped Southampton to the Division 2 title on goal difference. The Wanderers will be joined in the top flight next season by eitheer the Saints, Reading, Newcastle or Aston Villa, who now enter the play offs.

PL2 (Premier League 2) is a competition that replaced the Under-21 Premier League from 2016/17, with a greater focus on technicality, physicality and intensity to bring players as close to first-team experience as possible.

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